Mumbai: 50% more lepto cases this year

Mumbai: There has been a 50 per cent rise in cases of leptospirosis in September, compared to the same time last year. A 61-year-old and a 41-year-old succumbed to the disease on September 7 and September 18 respectively, taking the death toll to eight this year, with 55 confirmed cases.

The public health department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) confirmed their deaths on Monday.

Senior health officials said they had requested the private practitioners to put all fever patients on a course of doxycycline during monsoon, as early treatment with the drug prevents organ involvement and other complications, thereby preventing deaths due to leptospirosis.

According to Dr Padmaja Keskar, executive health officer, public health department, community awareness with the information epidemic cell (IEC) regarding the symptoms is organised across the wards.

Early diagnosis and complete treatment of diseases is provided in all dispensaries and hospitals.

“Activities like daily disease surveillance, early diagnosis and treatment, implementation of immediate control measures, IEC activities and prompt analysis of reports have contributed towards the reduction of cases,” said a health official.

The report submitted by the civic health department states there were 233 cases of dengue, 55 cases of leptospirosis, 666 cases of malaria, 105 cases of hepatitis, 9 cases of H1N1 and 425 cases of gastroenteritis recorded in civic hospitals. However, 3,527 people with dengue-like illnesses were admitted to various civic-run hospitals in the same time period.

Dr Harshad Limaye (MD), internal medicine, Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital, said there was no significant variation in terms of disease trend as compared to last year.

There has been a slight increase only in cases of leptospirosis. It could be because frequent rains forced large number of people to wade through waterlogged areas. I would request residents to avoid waterlogged areas or take doxycycline as prophylaxis if you are forced to do so,” said Dr Limaye.

Fewer dengue cases were reported this year as compared to last year, he added. “Drop in dengue cases can either be due to effective civic body monsoon preparation or simply the dengue disease cycle, which allows for periodical rise and drop in infection rates.”

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